Don't mind me while i laugh at every idiot who thought that the APS launchers could only fire in a straight line determined by the tube, thus creating some "limitation" to the system.
The original Drodz was designed to hit line of sight weapons like RPGs and missiles and not diving attack weapons, so its munitions didn't need to be very sophisticated and just flew out a fixed distance and exploded sending fragments radially sideways to intercept the incoming munition.
Essentially this munition in Afghanit does exactly the same thing but has a smart fuse where the fragments are directed at the expected position of the incoming threat... so it is a directional fragmentation weapon that can direct its fragments in very specific directions based on information fed to it before launch from optical and or radar sensors.
the thing is they said radio optical AESA and we all take that as a photonic radar.
I would think a normal AESA radar would be all you needed for this job and a photonic radar would be much more expensive and pretty much overkill... just based on speed it should be able to determine HEAT missile or APFSDS Uranium core penetrator... so no need for extreme discrimination of the surface texture of the incoming threat...
I would say not... and hope they are using such new technologies for rather more practical uses in aircraft and missiles etc etc.
far and near infrared range
Note this suggests long wave IR and short wave IR which is rather good... each frequency range has advantages and disadvantages... previously thermal imagers were medium wave IR and can't see through water or glass... part of the reason they were so expensive was that they needed expensive Germanium crystal lenses because normal glass and clear plastic blocks heat in that frequency.
The atmosphere actually blocks a lot of IR and there are three frequency ranges that are not absorbed by the atmosphere and so they are called long, medium, and short wave IR. Long wave is good for detection and long range visibility though the resolution and definition are not great... there was a long wave IR targeting pod for the F-16 where the IR sensor had a better range than the radar against some targets. Medium wave has better discrimination but shorter range while short wave IR looks a lot like a black and white image and it can see through some thin materials and also glass and water which makes them rather useful... and cheaper because you can use glass lenses.
They talk about a surveillance system composed by both radar and EO devices which is integrated in a unified threat overview
There has been mention of 360 degree optical and IIR sensors for helicopters as well as vehicles for unobstructed view of the surrounding area that is day night all weather capable which should be very useful on a range of platforms... especially if it is connected to video processing systems looking for targets and threats (ie moving target indicators MTIs). Such things can be linked to remote weapon systems for targeting or just observation.
I doubt the Afghanit uses lateral EFP axes or the more cookie directional EFP for that matter.
AFAIK they have been using directional warhead technology for decades and that even S-300 missiles use it to direct the fragments at the last milisecond to intercept specific parts of the target depending on the target... ie a Scud or ballistic missile target would focus the fragments at the nose and warhead area to detonate the target, while an aircraft would aim for the centre of mass to destroy the structure... break wings and tails off...
For air to air missiles lengths of metal rod chained together are used that cut sections of the target off like a guillotine... but this article seems to suggest multiple fuses allowing the directional throwing of a large mass of metal in a specific direction at a specific distance from the vehicle all calculated before hand... essentially a super shotgun blast that either shatters the HEAT warhead or makes the incoming penetrator yaw.
Anyone who has used a hammer to knock in a few nails knows that if the nail is just a few degrees off the angle you are hammering and the energy is not longer applied pushing the nail into the wood... it is instead used to fold up the nail with no wood penetration at all because nails going in sideways bend and never penetrate well.
Against ATGMs the shockwave should be enough to shear off the more fragile control surfaces, which more or less guarantees a miss.
ARENA and DROZD use kinetic material to destroy the incoming round rather than blast... in the case of ARENA the blast is from a munition launched up into the air and the fragments from the munition fired down into the ground to reduce the danger to troops nearby... I would hope the narrowly focussed fragments of the Afghanit system also avoid showering the area with fragments that could damage friendly vehicles or troops or the vehicle itself.
Just some limited corrections, nothing spectacular like intercepting top attack munitions (which the softkill system is for). Guidance would have to be inertial since we don't see any uplinks, and with commands uploaded prior to launch since the target trajectories are pretty much just straight lines themselves.
Just reading it again I suspect it is a smart fused directed fragmentation munition... it likely launches straight out a certain distance... say 5,10,20m and then explodes sending fragments in the direction of the incoming threat as calculated by the optics/radar system.
Perhaps depending on the threat and the space around the tank at the time it can vary the distance it travels before launching its attack and that this is set on firing... an induction coil could easily do that as it is fired...
We have heard about two systems.... Afghanit for Armata T-14 and T-15, and a system called Standard for Kurganets and Boomerang... I wonder if they all use the same munitions and the simpler ones for the lighter vehicles don't have the surveillance radar and extra bits and pieces?
The IR optics covering 360 degrees would be useful for any vehicle anyway... you could see who is near your vehicle... friendly or enemy...
ARENA could be manually fired in case enemy troops approached the tank... in some mountings they are a layer behind the front ERA armour... so ERA, then ARENA munition launching upwards, and then armour of the tank... sometimes in taht space between the ERA and main armour they also had things like Smoke grenades etc etc... I always think mixing a few different systems together is a good idea.
What I did like about ARENA is the enormous numbers of overlapping munitions so attacks from the same direction could be countered with four or five munitions without moving the turret... and having a munition that launches up before it fires would mean you could redesign it to not just fire fragments downwards but also horizontally backwards over the top of the tank to protect from diving top attack weapons too... which would mean every single munition could be used against a top attack Javelin... and you could fit Drozd or Afghanit munitions on the turret too with Afghanit sensors because they seem to be the most capable and less obtrusive...
The complaint that the ARENA munitions were vulnerable to fire... well they were spread out so your chances of hitting one was good but equally the chances of damaging them all is low, whereas putting them in launch bins means your chance of hitting them is low but hitting one may damage all the munitions in that bin and there are only two bins... protecting front or rear and a side each...
With the original ARENA if a munition is hit and damaged the munitions on either side should still get the job done... you would need some sort of layer on top that detects penetrating hits to determine if a munition is damaged so the system knows to launch a munition on either side of it instead of a hit munition... you could try to launch two and if the damaged one fails then it is OK.